Mitchell native achieves lifelong goal of qualifying for Olympic trialsKatie Price never let go of her dream. When the Mitchell native was 14, she set a goal of one day qualifying for the United States Olympic trials as a swimmer.
By: Justin Rust, The Daily Republic
Katie Price never let go of her dream.
When the Mitchell native was 14, she set a goal of one day qualifying for the United States Olympic trials as a swimmer.
Price, formerly known as Budahl before her marriage to former South Dakota State baseball coach Richie Price this summer, fulfilled her dream over the weekend.
At the Minnesota Grand Prix Meet in Minneapolis on Saturday, Price finished in 10th place in the 200-meter breaststroke in a time of 2 minutes, 35.84 seconds.
Her mark was .15 of a second better than the time needed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials.
“I continued to focus on swimming in high school and I stuck with it and believed in myself,” she said. “In September, my preliminaries were good enough, and I knew if trained hard, I would go for it.”
The Olympic trials for swimming are June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb.
Price is a former Mitchell Aquatic Club member and attended the University of Minnesota before transferring to SDSU. She competed on the swimming and diving team for the Jackrabbits and graduated from college in 2010. Price holds the record at SDSU in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.18) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:02.56).
SDSU does not swim in an Olympic-style 50-meter pool. It uses a yard pool.
Price, who lives in Lawrence, Kan., started to train for the Olympic trials in September.
“I had a great team to practice with,” she said. “I had done a lot of dry land activities and I am in the best shape I have been since my senior year at SDSU.”
Price, who currently coaches a club swimming team in Lawrence, was seeded 27th in the 200 breaststroke and 37th in the 100 breaststroke. She finished 14th in the 100 breaststroke. She was not concerned with her placing, though.
“I try not to think about the placing because you don’t know where everyone is at in their training.”
Price was in elite company at the Grand Prix. One swimmer who was there was Michael Phelps, who set the U.S. Olympic record by winning eight goals medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Besides Phelps, Price said there were 16 Olympians and 30 national champions at the meet.
But being around that level of competition only helped Price.
“Being around them makes you rise to the challenge,” she said.
She went on to qualify for the Olympic trials.
“I knew if I had a chance, it would be in the 200,” she said. “I just took the chance, and all of the hard work paid off.”
The Olympic trials is the final step to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. Two swimmers qualify for the Olympics for Team USA in the 200 breaststroke.
“My goal was to qualify for the trials, and just to get there and be in the environment with the best swimmers,” Price said. “It’s unrealistic that I would make it to London, but I want to just enjoy the experience and that’s my goal.”